Not necessarily all Japanese parents are against kids taking illegal drugs, according to a survey released April 13 by the National Federation of High School Parent-Teacher Associations.

In the nationwide survey of about 4,000 parents of high school students, 96.8 percent said narcotics should not be taken under any circumstances, while 0.4 percent said they can if only once and 0.6 percent considered children free to make their own decision. “We should take seriously the fact that some 3 percent of those polled were not against drugs,” said Yoshitaka Kimoto, head of the federation. “This reconfirmed the need to improve education at home.”

Most of the parents cited their declining ability to educate their children at home as the main cause of the child drug abuse problems of recent years, according to the survey. About 38 percent of the parents also blamed the decline in the standard of what is considered normal in society for contributing to the problem.

The survey also underscored the lack of sufficient communication between parents and children. About 48 percent said they had never discussed the issue with their children. Of them, only 13.2 percent said they plan to talk about it in the future.

According to the survey, most of the parents raised curiosity, peer pressure and ignorance as the main motive for a child to start taking drugs. Only about one in five parents cited a child’s failure to enjoy home or school as a motive.

However, last year’s Education Ministry survey on how the nation’s students view drug use showed that two in five high school students considered the inability to enjoy home or school a motive for taking drugs.

Some 2 percent of the parents have given up hope of taking action, saying the issue is beyond their control. Another 1.1 percent just dismissed the possibility of their children ever getting involved in the problem.

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